Monday, October 1, 2012

Family Movie Night: Finding Nemo

Title: Finding Nemo
Director: Andrew Stanton
Original Release: 2003
Choice: Mine
My Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Image via Wikipedia

It was really Family Movie Afternoon this week as we headed to the cinema to take in the re-release of the Pixar classic Finding Nemo in 3D.   If any of the Pixar catalog is worthy of the full-immersion treatment, it is Nemo.  Surround sound is also a definite bonus for appreciating an underwater adventure.  As an added bonus, there's a Toy Story short included before the film entitled Partysaurus Rex.

During my carefree mid-20s, I went SCUBA diving a few times in Southeast Asia: Philippines and Malaysia.  It is not exactly the world's most practical hobby - particularly in a landlocked state such as Vermont - nor the cheapest so I haven't been in years.  Nemo reminds me of everything I loved about diving - the deceptive quiet as life's grand parade swims past.  The colors and textures of the ocean floor inspire the feel of an alternate dimension, so much more subtle and complex than our own.  The ecosystem is as fragile as it is beautiful.  Humans are most certainly the invaders.  Observing sea life is a privilege one should never take lightly.

For all its grandeur, Nemo retains a sweetness and a light humor throughout.  The story is a simple one: Marlin, a clownfish voiced by Albert Brooks, goes in search of his lost son Nemo (Alexander Gould). Ellen Degeneres's Dori and director Andrew Stanton's Crush (the sea turtle) are particularly charming.  And, of course, one can hardly go wrong casting Willem Defoe (Gill) in anything.

Multi-generational considerations:
  • The beauty of the ocean and the clever humor of the dialogue are enough to keep the grownups interested.

My Rating System:

5 = The best of the best.  These are the films by which I judge other films.
4 = High quality films which I feel could hold up well in repeated viewings.
3 = The vast majority of films.  They're fine.  Once was enough.
2 = I wasn't even sure I wanted to finish it.  It's not a 1 because I'm not prepared to say it's a terrible film - just not my cup of tea.
1 = A terrible film.  An insult to the art form.


  1. You are peculiarly equipped to review this, I'm thinking. I find it very interesting that you have scuba dived. The very thought still inspires a tremendous anxiety but perhaps the tiniest fraction less so now that I have traveled over the Pacific ocean and stayed on the most isolated island on the globe for a week.

    My husband loved Willem Dafoe in 'The Last Temptation of Christ.' Did you ever catch that?

    1. Wow. About a million years ago, but yes I've seen it. Interesting in light of the recent revelations about Jesus's wife, too.

      That film is actually a very important one musically. Peter Gabriel did the score and his "Passion" and "Passion Sources" albums from the film are sort of the cornerstone of the world beat movement.

    2. Recent revelations? I must be totally out of the loop, here ...

      And that score is also among my husband's favorites. He listens to it at certain times. Agreed that it is very primal and bewitching.


    4. 'She cautioned, however, that the 1 1/2- by 3-inch scrap of fibrous material isn’t definitive proof that Jesus was actually married.'

      Uh, yeah. Very diplomatic concession.

    5. Actually, I think this is a classic case of a story getting blown up into something far bigger than intended. An academic finds something and thinks, "Oh, that's interesting." She publishes. Then, in light of the highly-sensitive topic, the 24-hour news harpies on all sides jump on it. On the one hand, she should have realized what she was uncorking. On the other, she's not actually offering a definitive analysis one way or the other.

    6. Squid, in our milieu? I'm sure she realized she was uncorking. In all fairness, though, I only skimmed the words at the end of your link so until/if I go back to read it with greater care, I'll keep further opinions to myself.